In Leonard Rosen’s superb mystery, ALL CRY CHAOS, Henri PoincarÃ©, fifty-seven, is a veteran Interpol agent who believes that it is “better to let one criminal go free than to abuse the law and jeopardize the rights of many.”
November 3, 2011
Â· Judi Clark Â· No Comments
Tags: Foreign Detective, Interpol, Mathmatician, Permanent Press, Philosophical, Sciences Â· Posted in: 2011 Favorites, Debut Novel, Sleuths Series, World Lit
George Baxter Henry is no paragon of virtue. In fact, he is a paradigm of vice, with a penchant for lustful young women. His marriage is on the rocks and his fractured family is falling apart. Connor Bowmanâ€™s novella after The Last Estate takes us back to the South of Franceâ€”this time Nice, but with an American protagonist. In this sinfully laugh-out-loud story about a wounded family trying to stitch itself back together, Bowman manages to make the reader care about these cross and querulous individuals who are headed on a grease skid to oblivion.
“In his mid-forties, he feels heâ€™s come to a pretty good place in his life, and he couldnâ€™t have got there if he hadnâ€™t been able to survive some of his earlier selves, forgiving, maybe, but also forgetting, even erasing. From his present vantage point, it isnâ€™t exactly magnanimity he feels toward the passionate but confused graduate student heâ€™d been twenty years ago. From that time onward heâ€™s been acutely aware of the importance of chance in the affairs of human beings, and he hopes itâ€™s given him a better understanding of people who are down on their own luck. But what he feels toward the person heâ€™d been then is mostly relief that heâ€™s been able to move beyond him.”
A “story man” walks from village to village across bare African lands, carrying a heavy book bag over his shoulder, filled with an odd collection of English language classics that visitors gave to him when passing through the villages. The books have opened his mind, like windows into another world: “I have read their books and told their stories very many times. I understand them, have seen the places that made them, seen the lives they want to live…” Charles Davis’ new novel, STANDING AT THE CROSSROADS, set most likely in Sudan, is an heart-rending example of superbly imaginative storytelling.
In the period right after the first Gulf War, an uneasiness hung all over Kuwaitâ€”its residents forever waiting for Saddam Hussein to strike again. As an American expat in the country for five years around that same time period, author Anastasia Hobbet witnessed this unease first hand. It forms a perfect backdrop for her novel, Small Kingdoms, which tells the story of an assorted set of Kuwaiti and American characters.
This is a short but pungent tale about crime, betrayal, passion, love, and a scar–both real and psychic. How juicy is that? Especially when you blend in the CÃ´tes du RhÃ´ne-Villages wine made from the dark-skinned Syrah, MourvÃ¨dre, and Cisault grapes. Throw in a pivotal love affair, a chateau, a virulent father, and an odious priest, and you have the crushing, pressing, and fermenting ingredients of a serious page-turner. The title refers to the legacy of the protagonist–the chateau, estate, and wine cellar he is set to inherit.